PCWorld


Zoho Office Suite taps AI to provide a free, powerful alternative to Office 365

PCWorld

If you don't want to pay for Microsoft's AI-powered Microsoft Office, there are alternatives--including Zoho's free Zoho Office Suite. Zoho's alternatives to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Google Keep launch today, complete with their own intelligent features that are arguably friendlier than Microsoft's own. The updated, smarter Zoho Writer 5 word processor and Zoho Sheet 5 spreadsheet join Zoho Notebook, a new addition that intelligently transforms links into "cards" that pull data from the web. The suite also includes Zoho Show, a free alternative to PowerPoint. For this revision, the Zoho Office Suite includes Zia, an AI assistant that Zoho integrated into its CRM solution last year.


First Alert Onelink Smart Smoke Carbon Monoxide Alarm review: This alarm doesn't work entirely as advertised

PCWorld

When I reviewed First Alert's Onelink Safe & Sound smoke alarm in mid-2018, I found it to be a powerful entry in the smart smoke detector market. Its inclusion of Bluetooth and an Amazon Echo-compatible smart speaker set it apart from every smoke and carbon-monoxide detector on the market. But its $199 price tag also made it far and away the most expensive device of its type on the market--and that price hasn't budged since its release. Enter the Onelink Smoke Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which lowers the cost of the original product by stripping out its most compelling features: The smart speaker and Bluetooth. Like other products in this category, the Onelink Smoke Carbon Monoxide Alarm is designed to extend the capabilities of a smoke detector by linking it with your smartphone.


Amazon's Echo Dot Kids Edition is just $35 after a 50 percent discount

PCWorld

Amazon's Echo devices kicked off the smart speaker craze, with a variety of options to fit any connected home. The Amazon Echo Kids Edition is no exception, bringing the smarts of the rest of the lineup to a kid-friendly package, and today you can get one on Amazon for $35--half off a list price of $70 and its lowest price ever. This round, compact smart speaker comes with the power of Alexa built in, so kids can take advantage of voice control capabilities, as well as Alexa's expanding skill set. Kids can ask their Echo to play music, control smart devices, tell jokes and stories, answer questions, and more. To give kids access to plenty of family-friendly content, this smart speaker comes with a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited.


The awesome Blue Yeti microphone is just $100 today, with a free copy of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

PCWorld

If you're about to get into live streaming, creating YouTube videos for the masses, or simply want great sound out of a microphone, then today's deal is for you. BuyDig is selling the Blue Yeti microphone in midnight blue for $100Remove non-product link. Plus, you get Assassin's Creed Odyssey for free. That's a great deal as these mics in other colors usually go for $125, though this particular model is $106 on Amazon. Our pals over at Macworld reviewed the Blue Yeti way back in 2010 and loved it.


Microsoft dismisses Office 2019 as old and dumb in videos promoting Office 365 subscriptions

PCWorld

When Microsoft announced the standalone versions of Office last year, known as Office 2019, Microsoft's attitude seemed decidedly lukewarm. We were wrong: Now it's downright hostile. Microsoft released three videos Wednesday to try and demonstrate that the AI-powered, always-updated version of Office 365 trounces the standalone Office 2019 in tasks ranging from automatically filling in geographic data in an Excel spreadsheet to automatically adding relevant skills to a Word resume that can be then sent to a recruiter. In each of the "showdowns," Office 2019 forces the user to perform the tasks manually, while Office 365 either automatically performs the task or connects to the Internet to simplify it. According to Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, Office 2019 is "frozen in time:" "They [the Office 2019 apps] don't ever get updated with new features, and they're not cloud-connected," Spataro wrote.


Sleep Better With This AI-Powered Device, Now 46% Off ($69)

PCWorld

There are dozens of afflictions that can affect our sleep quality, but pinpointing common symptoms can be next to impossible when we're trying to fall asleep. If you aren't getting the restful sleep necessary for a productive day, you may be experiencing sleep apnea, which happens when your body is starved of oxygen during sleep. Sleep apnea will leave you feeling sleepy and fatigued throughout the day, but leaving it untreated can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. It's highly recommended that you conduct a sleep study to monitor your sleep quality, and you can do so for $69 with GO2SLEEP. GO2SLEEP is a small, lightweight device that attaches to your finger as you sleep.


Riva Concert speaker review: A smart speaker that sounds good, too

PCWorld

Speakers powered by smart assistants are becoming dime-a-dozen commodities. In most cases, a smart speaker is good for voice commands, but I haven't found their musical reproduction particularly satisfying. The Riva Concert is part of Riva Audio's new Voice line of smart speakers that also includes the larger Riva Stadium. This sweet-sounding portable speaker is built to satisfy music lovers, with refined high-tech features you don't often see in smart speakers. Unpacking the Riva, I noted its heavy, solid build.


Nest Secure gains a Google Assistant feature

PCWorld

Nest is adding Google Assistant functionality to Nest Guard, the base station for its Nest Secure home security system. The feature is rolling out from today through a firmware update, and it will enable owners to ask questions and get answers through the device--the same way it can be used on a smartphone or Google Home smart speaker. The announcement marks the first time Nest, which is owned by Google, has disclosed that there is a microphone in the Nest Guard unit. The specifications page on Nest's website doesn't mention a microphone alongside all the other sensors on the device. A Google spokesperson confirmed the internal microphone isn't enabled by default and the Google Assistant function needs to be affirmatively enabled by a user.


Microsoft uses AI to bring the Met's art collection to the web--and your Instagram

PCWorld

Microsoft has teamed with New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art on a series of "hackathon" projects. The projects pair the technology company's AI expertise with the Met's collection of artwork to "transform future connections between people and art," according to Microsoft. The "Met x Microsoft x MIT" partnership came out of a collaboration last December, where a two-day hackathon combined Microsoft's AI technology and the museum's data. It's a part of the Met's Open Access Program, designed to make the museum's collections more accessible on the Internet. A number of Microsoft Azure cloud services were used, including Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning, conversational AI, and more.


Sense energy monitor review: Your patience will be rewarded with great insight into your home's electricity use

PCWorld

Sense is a bright-orange box that sits in your electrical breaker box and gives in-depth insight into your home's entire power usage. The whole system is quite clever and--thankfully--free of any monthly charges. But it learns very slowly, and that's likely to frustrate you. Sense works by electromagnetically listening to the power flowing along the two hot wires that run from your electric meter to your breakers. By measuring the current flow a million times each second, Sense can observe changes in load with precise detail and, based on a machine-learning database, attempt to identify the footprint of different devices from the noise they generate.